Coverage of our Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killing has been predictable: frightened silence or indifference from the "conservative" media, and Leftist and Islamic supremacist talking points from the mainstream media, completely ignoring the reality of honor killing, its roots in Islam, and defaming Pamela Geller and me, our intentions, the nature of our Conference, and what happened there.
Niraj Warikoo of the Detroit Free Press is one of the worst offenders, defining the narrative exactly as Islamic supremacists have defined it, echoing their worst smears of those who are standing against honor killing and other human rights abuses sanctioned in Islamic law, and never allowing us a fair hearing. See the questions he asked Pamela Geller, and her answers -- which he did not use -- here. See the ridiculous piece he filed about the Conference for the Detroit Free Press, picked up by USA Today here: "Arab-Americans hold conference against bigotry," by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, April 29:
DETROIT – Arab-Americans and their supporters held a conference in Detroit on Sunday against bigotry in response to an anti-Islam conference in Dearborn, Mich.
"We stand for America," said Osama Siblani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab-American News, at a panel discussion held at a Detroit hotel. "And they (anti-Muslim activists) stand against America and against the American way of life."
Siblani's views were echoed by others who gathered for a conference organized by the Arab American Institute and supported by several other Arab-American groups to counter a conference held in Dearborn on Sunday by anti-Muslim activists called the "Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference on Honor Killings."
So now standing for human rights for Muslim girls threatened with murder for their behavior is "anti-Muslim."
Last year, Mokdad, 20, a Muslim was shot dead by her stepfather in Warren, Mich. Some anti-Islam activists said it was a honor killing because initial reports were that she was perceived as too independent, but Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Cataldo said Friday it was not an honor killing. The family of Mokdad opposed the anti-Islam conference and didn't want Mokdad's name on it, Cataldo said.
Warikoo does not see fit to mention that Darwin Jiles, a close friend and confidante of Jessica, has said this: “Jessica would wear [the Islamic headcovering, the hijab] it when she was with her family, and when she wasn’t with her family, she let it be very known that she didn’t want to wear it, that she did not want to be a part of this forced Islamic religion....It was Islam that caused her death.” Nor does he mention that Cataldo himself initially said of the murderer: “He thought she was becoming too Westernized. I think this was a very nice young lady wanting to experiment with Western culture without control and without abuse.”
On Sunday, Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn -- the biggest mosque in Michigan -- said : "Honor killing has no religious roots in Islam."
Warikoo lets this go by unchallenged, without noting that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.
The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but "the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour 'provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.'" And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that "Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values."
Sunday's anti-Muslim conference features two of the most well-known anti-Islam activists in the United States, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
Geller, who blogs against Islam, said: "Our goal is to raise awareness about the phenomenon of Islamic honor killing in order to help bring a stop to it. These girls have rights, too, they're human beings, and yet they're completely forgotten in our politically correct culture."
Qazwini said he believes Geller is motivated by money. He said she wants to make "Islam look like a monster to raise funds."
How does Qazwini know what motivates Pamela Geller? Can he read minds or souls? Why is what Qazwini thinks of Pamela Geller newsworthy, but what Pamela Geller thinks of Qazwini is not?
Sunday's anti-Muslim conference in Dearborn is the latest effort by anti-Islam activists to target Dearborn, which has the highest percentage of Arab-Americans in the U.S., according to Census figures. Earlier this month, Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones held a demonstration outside Qazwini's mosque.
In addition, some Christian missionaries have increasingly targeted Muslims at the annual Arab festival in Dearborn; last year, some yelled at festival goers as they walked by.
James Zogby, who heads the Arab American Institute, said of Sunday's anti-Muslim conference: "These people are bigots … they are sick."
The Arab-American conference featured talks by U.S. House Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke, both Democrats from Detroit. Daniel Kirchbaum, executive director of Michigan's Department of Civil Rights, also spoke at the event, saying that many in Michigan want to make sure "Muslims are treated fairly and equally."
I had a civil and friendly discussion with Niraj Warikoo after the Conference, but none of that made it into his story, either, so I wrote this to him yesterday:
Why do you term fighting for the human rights of Muslim girls "anti-Muslim" in your hit piece on our conference?
I challenge you to substantiate any factual inaccuracy in anything Pamela Geller or I said at the conference. You will not, because you cannot. I further challenge you to substantiate any call for the infringement of the religious or human rights of Muslims or anyone else at our conference. You will not, because you cannot.
Terming us "anti-Muslim" suggests that we are targeting Muslims as a people rather than an oppressive ideology, and directly contradicts actual statements I made at the conference?
Do you have any sense of shame when you print this kind of incitement to hatred and violence against us?
I request a full retraction, apology, and space for an op-ed Ms. Geller and I will pen for the Free Press to clear our names of your defamation of us in this and other articles.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Actually I have no expectation of hearing from him at all. And I don't know who the ombudsman is at the Detroit Free Press -- if anyone does know, please email me at director[at]jihadwatch.org. Niraj Warikoo should be reprimanded and/or fired for his pseudo-journalistic Islamic supremacist propaganda, and free citizens should politely and courteously remind the Free Press of its journalistic responsibilities.